Re: CCAT: TIME: Fantasyland?/Various issues (Pat Hayes)
Message-id: <>
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
Date: Mon, 17 Oct 1994 17:34:26 -0600
To: (Fritz Lehmann),,
From: (Pat Hayes)
Subject: Re: CCAT: TIME: Fantasyland?/Various issues
Cc:, anquetil@IRO.UMontreal.CA,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, kivs@bgcict.bitnet,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Precedence: bulk
On event/object/process. Trying to read whats been written and decide on
which is right is never going to work, largely because you will never stop
reading.  What we say about things is not going to depend much, if at all,
on whether we declare them to be events, objects or processes in any case.
Let me suggest an alternative strategy, which is to have a default
EVERYTHING ELSE, and only depart from this when there seems to be a real,
pressing NEED to make a distinction of some kind, typically because one
class of things has something true of all of it which are false of the
others. Thus, I am with CYC that people, and indeed many complicated things
such as my car, are both objects and processes and maybe even events as
well. (If we allow some events to take longer than others then I see no
reason to say they arent events, anyway.) 

Some linguists have found linguistic reasons to distinguish events from
processes in order to help sort out the kinds of things that people SAY to
one another, but Im not convinved that we always need to import all this
complication into the ways people think. I thus suggest the following
strategy: 'event' just means 'completed process', so 'process' is 'ongoing
event'; and objects are processes, and so once dead or destroyed are
considered events. Processes are objects, of course, just like every other
physical thing. Thus, Julius Caesar is now an event, but you and I are
processes. Thats it: no more need be said about events/objects/processes
(unless one is interested in analysing the wierd subtleties of the English
tense system), and we neednt bother much about the terminology, which is
completely dependednt on the point of view of the speaker in any case.

Hows that for an idea?


Beckman Institute                                    (217)244 1616 office
405 North Mathews Avenue        	   (217)328 3947 or (415)855 9043 home
Urbana, IL. 61801                                    (217)244 8371 fax